The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Cultural appropriation, specifically Native American culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, verbal & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Rape, statutory rape & rape of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Pregnancy, result of rape & incest
  • Forced estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating (bingeing)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Female genital mutilation mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Lynching recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of an infant

The Unbroken by CL Clark

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Attempted rape recounted & threats of rape
  • Anxiety attack
  • Blood depiction & physical injury
  • Amputation & loss of limb
  • Cannibalism
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Execution by hanging
  • Rebellion, colonialism & war themes
  • Animal death
  • Animal attack
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Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel M. Moniz book cover

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.

A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.

Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Parental abandonment
  • Adult-minor relationship between a teacher and student
  • Paedophilia, implied
  • Parental sexual abuse, implied
  • Abortion, mentioned
  • Pregnancy
  • Terminal cancer
  • Physical assault
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Strangulation
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a father
  • Death from a fall
  • Drowning
  • Graphic near-drowning
  • Robbery
  • Cannibalism, implied
  • Hanging, mentioned
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Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Attempted rape recounted (chp. 23)
  • Child abuse recounted, including being locked in the attics for extended periods of tie
  • Agoraphobia
  • Panic attack (chp. 24)
  • Death of a mother to suicide recounted
  • Recreational drug use (on-page in chp. 5 & mentioned otherwise)
  • Hospital (chp. 5 & 24)
  • Grief & loss (theme)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a stepfather (off-page)
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Gun violence (chp. 28)
  • Police violence (chp. 28)
  • Hanging mentioned (chp. 9)
  • Near-drowning incident
  • Car accident (on-page, chp. 23-24)
  • Death of a child to a wasp attack recounted
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The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover book cover

As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Colourism
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Infertility themes
  • Miscarriage, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Scars
  • Physical injury, including burns
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a son
  • Disappearance of a sister
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Incarceration, mentioned
  • Slavery
  • Captivity
  • Human trafficking
  • Hanging/lynching, implied
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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankentstein by Kiersten White

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Classism
  • Misogyny
  • Slut shaming
  • Graphic physical, verbal & emotional abuse
  • Parental abandonment
  • Intimate partner abuse & violence
  • Nightmares
  • Self-sacrifice (on-page) & suicidal ideation mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies & body parts
  • Graphic physical injuries & wound descriptions
  • Graphic medical procedures & experiments
  • Emesis
  • Forced hospitalisation
  • Body horror
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Death of an uncle (off-page)
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a brother
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Graphic strangulation
  • Hanging (off-page)
  • Fire (multiple scenes)
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Building collapse
  • Stalking
  • Graphic animal abuse (on-page) & animal death
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The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When a recent arrival from Virginia tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • White supremacy & the Klu Klux Klan
  • Slavery
  • Rape & sexual assault
  • Paedophilia
  • Domestic violence
  • PTSD
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Sterilization
  • Murder
  • Lynching
  • Whipping
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Nailbiter Vol. 1: There Will Be Blood by Joshua Williamson & Mike Henderson

Nailbiter, Vol. 1: There Will Be Blood by Joshua Williamson & Mike Henderson

“Where do serial killers come from?” and why has Buckaroo, Oregon given birth to sixteen of the most vile serial killers in the world?

NSA Agent Nicholas Finch needs to solve that mystery in order to save his friend, and he’ll have to team up with the infamous Edward “Nailbiter” Warren to do it.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Suicide mentioned & on-page attempted suicide
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Hospital
  • Cannibalism
  • Dismemberment & amputation
  • Nonconsensual body modifications
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Gun violence
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Hanging
  • Kidnapping
  • Imprisonment
  • Fire
  • Graphic animal dead bodies
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The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s HamletThe Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now the killer is out of jail and back in town, and he’s claiming that Hanalee’s father’s death wasn’t an accident at all. Instead, he says that Hank was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who just so happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

In order to get the answers she needs, Hanalee will have to ask a “haint” wandering the roads at night—her father himself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • White supremacy & the Klu Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Homomisia
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Lynchings
  • Car accident
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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler book cover

This Nebula Award-winning sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Hate crimes
  • Victim blaming
  • Misogyny, sexism and gendered slurs
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Child sexual assault and rape
  • Grooming behaviour and paedophilia
  • Rape and rape by coercion
  • Sex trafficking and sex slavery
  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment
  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Family estrangement
  • Adult-minor relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide and attempted suicide
  • Infertility themes
  • Pregnancy
  • Non-consensual pregnancy
  • Teenage and child pregnancy
  • Amnesia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries and wounds
  • Scars
  • Starvation and dehydration depiction
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent/guardians
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of a partner/spouse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Flogging and whippings
  • Gun violence
  • Hanging and lynching
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Avalanche
  • Chemical gassing and warfare
  • Cults
  • Home invasion
  • Exile
  • Indentured servitude
  • Imprisonment, incarceration and captivity
  • Kidnapping
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Religious persecution
  • Terrorism
  • War and military themes
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes

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